Rights Watchdog Urges EU to Respond to Crisis in Venezuela
REUTERS/ Ueslei MarcelinoLatin America15:29 11.09.2017(updated 15:57 11.09.2017) Get short URL142
An international human rights NGO has called on European authorities to stop the violation of human rights in Venezuela.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Human Rights Watch, an NGO, called on the European Union on Monday to take action in response to human rights abuses amid the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
“We are writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to urge you to lead a European Union effort to significantly advance pressure on the Venezuelan government to address the profound human rights and humanitarian crisis in that country,” the organization’s press release stated.
In particular, Brussels should adopt punitive measures against Venezuelan officials responsible for human rights violations, offer the Venezuelan government humanitarian aid to tackle shortages of medicine and food, and express serious concern over the deterioration of human rights and the humanitarian crisis in the country through EU and UN institutions, the statement read.
Venezuela has been facing unrest since this spring when the country’s Supreme Court attempted to restrict the power of the country’s socialist-dominated legislature. Despite the subsequent overturn of the decision, the opposition forces initiated mass protests, which have claimed over 120 lives.
The protests were further fueled by the National Constituent Assembly election in late July, initiated by Maduro with the intention of rewriting the constitution. Voters were only called upon to elect approximately 2/3 of the 537 members of the assembly, while the remainder were elected by seven “social groups”, including “retirees, indigenous groups, peasants, students, farmers and the disabled,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Venezuela’s opposition, as well as a number of foreign countries, have refused to recognize the body’s legitimacy.
On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not rule out the possible introduction of EU sanctions against the Venezuelan government if it remains unwilling to find a peaceful and constructive solution to the conflict with the opposition.